Title: Arms of His Angel
Author: SaraC
Summary: We all return to the arms of our angels
Spoilers/Time Frame: Post TPM
Pairing: Obi/Ami
Rating: PG
Archiving: Okay anywhere that wants it, just let me know
Disclaimers: Not mine. The characters are GL's, the song "Angel" belongs to the great Sarah McLaughlin.

Author's Notes: Sequel to "Not While I'm Around" (5th story in my Obi/Ami angst series)

Spend all your time waiting,
For that second chance,
For a break that would make it okay.

He stiffened as he felt the familiar presence nearing. No matter that it had been more than a decade since he had felt that familiar feeling creep over him. The feeling that once had alerted him his Padawan was near. The feeling that now alerted him the evil thing Anakin had become was near. Waiting for a second chance, to even an age-old score.

There's always one reason,
To feel not good enough,
And it's hard at the end of the day.

He sighed as he allowed himself to remember the painful final battle they'd fought, ending in a fiery hell for his once friend and Padawan. That guilt had never gone away, no matter how many years had passed. Part of him still felt it was his failure, his fault, that Anakin had been turned to the dark side. Part of him believed he deserved to suffer for that failure. He had spent years in self-imposed exile on Tatooine, watching and waiting as Luke grew to be a man. He considered it his penance in a way. But also his promise to the woman he had loved more than life itself. She had left him years ago, soon after they had hidden the children, grief and longing, sorrow and pain taking their toll on her once strong body. He felt her loss to this day with a sharp pain that he knew one day would be the end of him. He stiffened as he suddenly heard the mechanical breathing fill the air around him, bringing him out of his painful memories.

It was time then.

Taking a deep, calming breath, he turned to face the man he had once called friend. Darth Vader bore no resemblance to the young boy who had flown that pod racer with such skill and agility, with no thought for himself, but for people he hardly knew. The creature before him now was a living, breathing, epitome of evil. He could sense no spark of the Anakin he once knew and loved. This was Darth Vader. In a way, his creation. Without a doubt, his greatest failure. "I've been waiting for you Obi-Wan. We meet again at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner, now I am the master." The words chilled him to the bone, but did not surprise him. He had known this day would come. "Only a master of evil Darth," he replied, raising his lightsaber to counter Vader's first strike. Their final battle had begun.

I need some distraction,
Oh beautiful release.
Memories seep through my veins.

As the crackling sound of colliding lightsabers filled the hall, he found his mind wandering to her. For some reason, he could see her face so clearly at this moment, feel her presence as if she were there beside him. Watching over him, calling to him. Waiting for him to finally join her and be at peace at last. As he parried blow after blow from the Sith Lord, he found it almost too easy to remember her smile, the look of love in her eyes as they had loved each other that one forbidden night so long ago. Remembered the sadness and pain in her eyes as she had realized her husband was no more. Remembered the painful love and trust in her eyes as she had placed Luke in his arms the last time he had seen her beautiful face. In those memories, he could finally find peace.

Let me be empty,
And weightless and maybe,
I'll find some peace tonight.

"Your powers are weak old man." He heard Vader's words as if from a distance. Yes, he was old, and his powers were weak.

But it didn't matter. He had done what he had promised. He had kept Luke safe. He had brought Luke and Leia together and set them on the path they were meant to follow. He had fulfilled that promise to his love, to his angel.

In the arms of the angel,
Fly away from here.
From this dark, cold hotel room,
And the endlessness that you fear.

He could feel the strain the fight was taking on his stamina. He knew he was not long for this world. He could see and hear his angel calling to him, reassuring him that it would be all right. Reassuring him that he was loved, and she was waiting for him. That she loved him still and would love him for all eternity. That knowledge gave him the strength to parry another blow from Vader's lightsaber as he put into words what he wanted his former friend and padawan, now his bitter enemy, to know. "You can't win Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine," he spoke in a calm voice, feeling the surge of anger from Vader at the words.

He knew the creature Anakin Skywalker had become would not understand the meaning of those words. But perhaps, somewhere, deep inside the twisted mass that was once an innocent young boy, his words would strike a chord. "You should never have come back." He sighed, realizing that young boy was too far buried beneath the layers of evil. It would take one more powerful than he to breech those layers. It saddened him to realize that the kind and loving boy he had once been now appeared to be completely gone. It pained him to know he was responsible for his disappearance. And not for the first time in the past years did he find himself missing that boy.

You are pulled from the wreckage,
Of your silent reverie.
You're in the arms of the angels,
May you find some comfort there.

He started as he heard a heartfelt "Ben!" shouted at him from across the docking bay. Turning, he saw his past and future staring back at him. 3-PO and Artoo, the faithful friends who had survived from day one, doing their own part to help fight the evil that pervaded the galaxy. He could still see the 14 year old Queen, disguised as Padme, smiling at the small droid who had saved their lives that day so long ago as they fled Naboo. Could see 3-PO standing in that hovel on Tatooine, no outer coverings to be seen, but basking in Anakin's pride at his half-finished creation. His gaze turned to Luke and Leia staring in shock at Vader and himself. For an instant he saw them again as babies, held tightly in their mother's arms, felt their small bodies pressed against his as he and Amidala whispered their goodbyes. Other than the hologram, it was the first glimpse he had had of Leia since that painful moment. In that instant, seeing her eyes flash with worry and shock, he saw her mother.

She had his Ami's beauty and grace, charm and wit. Her deep passion and abiding love. And next to her stood her brother. Tall and proud, full of compassion, determination and love. So determined to be a Jedi. Just like his father. Maybe he would be the one to get it right. Something inside him, in the Living Force around him, told him that maybe, just maybe, Anakin Skywalker's son was the one to truly bring balance to the force.

His duty was done.

He had fulfilled his destiny.

Now it was up to Luke and Leia. The Force told him that everything would turn out all right in the end. He could finally lay down his guilt, his pain, his failure. Taking a deep breath, he sheathed his lightsaber, feeling no pain as Vader dealt his deathblow.

You're in the arms of the angels,
May you find, some comfort there.

For an instant, a part of him ached as he heard Luke's devastated cry, but then he felt a power like he had never known engulfing him, surrounding him, making him finally, completely whole. The sense of peace, the sense of other Jedi minds that had been missing since their deaths so many years ago, was suddenly back. Looking around it felt almost surreal. He could see his empty robe lying on the floor, feel Vader's hollow triumph at destroying his former Master. He could see Luke's devastated expression as he fought the Stormtroopers in some misbegotten effort to avenge his death. "Run Luke, run!" He saw the boy respond to his mental cry, breathing a sigh of relief as his young charge boarded the ship and a few moments later the Millenium Falcon was flying from the docking bay. "He is safe my love, they are both safe now, you have kept them so." He turned, tears building behind his eyes as he saw her standing next to him. Even after all these years, she was still the most beautiful creature he had ever laid eyes on. "Ami," he whispered, almost afraid to believe she was there.

She smiled at him, her heart full to overflowing now that he was with her, where he belonged. "I have been waiting. We are finally together my love, as it was always meant to be," she whispered, holding out her arms to him. With a soft cry, he walked into her embrace, knowing after all the pain and exile, the guilt and suffering, he had finally come home. "My love," he whispered before taking her lips in a passionate kiss. "Always," she managed to whisper when they finally parted for breath. They continued to stare at each other for a long moment, unable to get enough of the sight of each other. "Come, they are waiting," she whispered, taking his hand and leading him towards a glowing light where he could sense the welcome presence of friends and family. He began to follow her, but before they entered the light, he tugged on her hand, turning to take one last look at the scene behind him. She came to his side wrapping her arm around his waist as they watched the tall figure, dressed entirely in black, staring off into space after the disappearing ship. "Can they save him?" he whispered quietly. Amidala sighed as her arm tightened around his waist. "What does your heart tell you?" she replied, as he turned to gaze down at her. "My heart tells me it will not be an easy road for any of them, but I believe they are the ones to bring balance to the force," he replied. She smiled sadly as she watched the figure of the man who had once been her husband turn and stalk down the hallway, completely alone in the life he had chosen for himself.

If only things had been different. But she could not change them. What would happen, would happen. She knew now that no matter what, someday, she would be reunited with her children, when their time in this galaxy was done. And maybe someday, she would find her husband, and Obi-Wan his friend and Padawan. "The future is never certain. But we must trust in the Force and the children to do what is necessary to create a future for the galaxy," she whispered as he sighed and turned to place a gentle kiss against her temple. "Still so wise, even after all these years I see," he teased, feeling his heart lighten as she smiled up at him. "Come, we must go, there are some people who have been waiting a very long time to see you again," she replied, once more pulling him towards the light. As they neared it, he saw Master Yoda's twinkling eyes and Master Windu's infamous smile. And his heart rejoiced as he saw the face of his own Master, smiling benevolently back at him. Smiling, he sent one final thought to Luke. "The Force will be with you. Always." Then he took his love's hand and followed her into the light. As it engulfed them both, he knew he was finally at peace.

He was finally with his love.

He was finally home.

You're in the arms of the angels,
May you find, some comfort there.

Previous Chapters: Goodbye To You / Distance / Hero / Not While I'm Around /  Arms of His Angel / Next Chapter: "Full Circle"

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